July 30, 2008

Jules Renard, translated by Richard Wilbur

This post now resides on my other site 50 Watts:


  1. Well, hell, you've sold me. This is added to my stack.

  2. painful invalidism against which scholarship and travel were the chief opiates.

    If you were to substitute "spiritual" for "painful", how apt an aphorism for those (of us) delightfully hyper-sensitive souls!

    Yet another book to queue up for ordering....

  3. I've never read his fiction - didn't know it was actually available in English - but his journal is fantastic. I'm glad it's being republished, though the edition I have (George Braziller in the 1960s) is beautiful. Amazon actually has a picture of it from a loving fan: http://www.amazon.com/Journal-Jules-Renard-Louise-Elizabeth/dp/B000HEG6PW/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217521288&sr=8-11.

    Donald Barthelme talks in a number of places about how important Renard's journal was for his fiction, which is how I found him . . .

  4. Thanks for the comments.

    Spiritual invalidism!

    I think I have a volume of Barthelme's essays so I will go hunting for references to Renard.

  5. Yours is a fabulous website! About translations of Renard, in 1948 Faber put out "Hunting with 'The Fox,'" with author "Toulouse-Lautrec." However, this is actually a translation of Renard's "Histoires Naturelles," illustrated by Toulouse-Lautrec. A fuller edition of "Natural Histories" was published by Horizon Press in 1966, translated by Richard Howard. Another edition from the 60's also exists. His extraordinary novel "Poil de Carotte," translated by G. W. Stonier as "Carrots," was issued by Grey walls Press in 1946.

  6. Thanks for your comment and info. Since this post, I bought a Horizon Press oversize, slipcased book with Howard's translation, and many different translations. I also learned that NYRB will bring out a fresh translation at some point!

    I also found a newer translation of Poil de Carotte from Walker & Company (my copy is a trade paperback) -- I wanted to snatch up the rights to it, but apparently Walker's paperwork is buried in storage. It could be an uphill battle to get the rights.

  7. rizzoli just released a special edition (in italian) of histoires naturelles illustrated by luigi serafini... it's a pretty amazing book from an aesthetic perspective.